Temple community mourns officer’s death after fatal shooting
Temple University Police Officer Christopher Fitzgerald was fatally shot in the line of duty after responding to a robbery in progress.
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Temple University community mourns the death of a first responder—TU Police Officer Christopher Fitzgerald was fatally shot in the head on Saturday night after responding to reports of a robbery at 1700 West Montgomery Avenue.
The shooting occurred around 7 p.m. Saturday while Fitzgerald patrolled alone.
Temple University President, Dr. Jason Wingard, expressed “there are simply no words that can make sense of this tragedy. It tears at our sense of community and safety. We all mourn this unspeakable loss.”
“Lori and I are devastated for the family of the Temple University police officer who was killed in the line of duty tonight, bravely serving his community. We're sending prayers to his loved ones, Temple Police, and the entire @TempleUniv community. May his memory be a blessing,” said Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro in a tweet.
“Officer Fitzgerald gave his life to selflessly serve and defend this community,” Jennifer Griffin, the university's vice president for public safety, said in a statement. “This loss leaves an enormous hole in all of our hearts. He was a father, a husband, a son, a colleague, and a friend.”
What We Know Thus Far
Acting Attorney general Michelle Henry released a statement saying:
“For the third time this year, the second time in less two weeks, Pennsylvania has suffered the tragedy of a police officer killed by the violence wrought by firearms. Today we join in mourning with the communities of Temple University and the City of Philadelphia, and the family of Officer Fitzgerald, who died a hero bravely responding to a dangerous and volatile situation. I want to offer my sincere condolences to his family and loved ones, who knew the danger he confronted in his job and supported him in his chosen profession – as do all families of law enforcement officers. I also want to solemnly thank the investigators from our Office’s Gun Violence Task Force working with ATF agents, U.S. Marshals, Pennsylvania State Police, Philadelphia Police, and law enforcement in Bucks County, who literally worked through the night to identify and arrest the suspected shooter involved with this heinous act. We stand together to honor Officer Fitzgerald’s service and sacrifice to our community and the entire Commonwealth.”
Authorities arrested Miles Pfeffer, an 18-year-old in connection with Fitzgerald’s murder. The suspect allegedly attempted to rob the fallen officer after shooting him in the head, then proceeded to carjack a vehicle near the murder scene.
6ABC reports that Pfeffer “will face charges of murder, murder of a law enforcement, robbery, carjacking and weapons crimes.” Pfeffer was transported today to Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility.
Authorities were able to apprehend the suspect after the incident was captured on surveillance video, as reported by Action News.
The community continues to mourn the loss of Officer Fitzgerald with a growing memorial at the intersection where was killed.
A GoFundMe account has been started by the Temple University Police Association to support the fallen officer’s wife and four children. Thus far it has raised more than $230,000 in its first 24 hours.